A Taste of Japan in London: The Finest Japanese Restaurants

Japanese food is fast becoming the choice of diners who prefer to eat healthily as the quality ingredients that go into Japanese cooking is second to none. Delicious fish dishes along with noodle rice and vegetable choices mean that there is something to suit most tastes when eating Japanese food, while sushi is not the only delicacy Japanese food has to offer. There are literally hundreds of Japanese restaurants in London but which are the best? Here we give you our top ten, all equally rated, see if you agree!

K10 Restaurant

K 10

K10 serves modern Japanese cuisine in both of their London Restaurants with the Copthall Avenue venue located just behind Liverpool Street Station ideal for workers dining in the area. This busy restaurant offers a dine in menu or takeaway service with over seventy seats available for those eating in. The conveyor belt system (known as Kaiten) that is used here is very much the vogue in Japanese restaurants today with K10 offering one of the smoothest running in London.

This excellent Kaiten restaurant opened back in 2000 and is acknowledged as one of the best of its type, while those seeking fresh Sushi, Sashimi, Katsu Curries, Teriyakis and Tempuras will not be disappointed when dining here. The restaurant opens Monday to Friday 11.30-3.00pm and customers can order their food online or sign up to be alerted of special offers when they become available. K10 has an ambient atmosphere that is both modern and friendly with a lovely décor to match.

  • K10
  • T: 020 7562 8510
  • 20 Copthall Avenue
  • London
  • EC2R 7DN

Shoryu Ramen Carnaby

Shoryu Caranaby

This excellent Japanese restaurant is located in Kingly Court with its entrance sited off Carnaby Street in Soho making it the trendy option for diners wishing to eat Japanese food. The restaurant is quite small but this does not detract from the fact that excellent Japanese food can be found here with the kitchen and bar in full view so diners can see what is being cooked for them. The décor is very modern with beech tables along with high wooden stools offering a minimalist look that is very popular in restaurants today.

The Shoryu Carnaby opened in 2012 and offers its customers authentic Japanese cuisine cooked by traditional Japanese chefs who specialise in Hakata Tonkotsku Ramen.  Diners can book a table online at the Shoryu Carnaby , while the menu offered here is simply delicious! Choices include a huge selection of Ramen Noodles, delicious sides and desserts, while drinks include Sake, cocktails, wine and champagne.

Shoryu Caranaby

The restaurant also caters for vegetarians, those who prefer spicy food and those who require gluten free options. Shoryu Carnaby also offers a delivery service too with details of how to order available at the website.

  • Shoryu Ramen Carnaby
  • G3-5 Kingly Court
  • London
  • W1B 5PJ

Aqua Kyoto

Aqua Kyoto

Aqua Kyoto is a stylish modern Japanese restaurant that is run by New Zealand born Chef Paul Greening. This restaurants décor is fabulous in design with deep reds and black being the predominant colours that offer that hint of luxury to its diners. Much of the staff here are young people eager to please, while all this is set against the backdrop of modern music making it the restaurant of choice for those who like a trendy current atmosphere.

Aqua Kyoto is located in Soho, while tapping in on the trendy theme their menu is divided into quirky selections that include

  • Retail Recharge - aimed at shoppers
  • Experience - includes a range of signature dishes
  • Set lunch
  • Brunch
  • A La Carte

Aqua Kyoto also offer a range of fabulous desserts and a great wine list that features alternative traditional Japanese drinks along with a comprehensive range of wines and spirits.

  • Aqua Kyoto
  • T: 0207 478 0542  
  • 5th Floor
  • 240 Regent Street
  • London
  • W1B 3BR
  • Entrance opposite the London palladium

Nobu Restaurant

Nobu

Diners who seek elegance along with delicious Japanese food served in opulent surroundings would do well to visit Nobu Restaurant located on the first floor of the Metropolitan Hotel on Park Lane in London. Co-owned by Drew Nieporent, Robert De Niro and Christina Ong the celebrated chef here is Nobu Matsuhisa.

The cuisine served at Nobu is created using traditional Japanese fare in conjunction with South American influences making this a truly unique dining experience. The restaurant has a separate sushi bar for those who wish for a more casual setting while the elegant restaurant seats one hundred and fifty diners.

Nobu's menu is pretty diverse offering a comprehensive lunch menu, cold dishes, hot dishes, dinner, sushi and sashimi along with a wide variety of drinks. Patronised by the wealthy, rich and famous this eatery is not cheap, although it is great to visit when celebrating a very special occasion. Nobu Restaurant is however a Michelin Star awarded Japanese Restaurant.

  • Nobu
  • T: 020 7447 1000 (4747 reservations)
  • 19 Old Park Lane
  • London
  • W1K 1LB

Atari Ya

Atari Ya

Atari Ya has a chain of Japanese restaurants in London, while their James Street bar located in the centre of London close to Bond Street Tube Station is typical of what this chain is about. Staff here are all experts at making delicious sushi that is offered at very reasonable prices. It's always great to eat delicious food that has not cost the earth but that we know is quality and that is what is served here at Atari Ya in James Street.

Atari Ya serve only fresh ingredients when it comes to their sushi and sashimi, while phoning in advance to order from their takeaway menu will mean your food is ready prepared for you on arrival. Open seven days a week the menu here is pretty comprehensive and includes such delicacies as

  • Razor clams
  • Conger eel
  • Sea Bream
  • Sea Bass
  • Sushi rolls
  • Donburi (thinly sliced fish on rice)
  • Range of side dishes such as Edamame and Miso soup
  • Vegetarian options
  • Healthy salads

Why not pay Atari Ya a visit and dine on the best Japanese food in town all offered at reasonable prices.

  • Atari Ya
  • T: 020 7491 1178
  • 20 James Street
  • London
  • W1U 1EH

Ajiichiban

Ajiichiban

Ajiichiban Japanese Restaurant offers authentic Japanese menus in a trendy backdrop that is both welcoming and comfortable. Delicious food served here includes such dishes as sushi, sashimi, ramen, tempura, seafood, rice and tofu. Located in the heart of Greenwich the restaurant also offers a great drinks menu that features sake and ramunade.

Ajiichiban welcomes children and offers superb service from dedicated staff. Suited to all types of diner from families through to individuals or business groups this restaurant is open for lunch, dinner plus well into the night, is open seven days a week and offers a quiet modern welcoming venue to all its customers. With dozens of delicious choices all on one menu Ajiichiban is the perfect choice of Japanese restaurant for all the family.

  • Ajiichiban
  • T: 020 8858 7808
  • 8 Nelson Road
  • Greenwich
  • London
  • SE10 9JB

Roka

Roka

Roka is an award winning Japanese restaurant situated on Charlotte Street that serves contemporary Japanese Robatayaki cuisine. Located at the very heart of the media district this stylish restaurant features contemporary décor with stripped wooden tables, high stools and a central grill that gives the place a fabulous atmosphere as the chefs busy themselves cooking delicious mouth-watering dishes.

Roka is a cosy place in winter but come the summer this restaurant turns into an alfresco venue as the glass doors open out making dining here an outdoor experience. Downstairs from the restaurant is the Schochu Lounge where diners can enjoy drinks in a cosy ambient atmosphere. The restaurant menu is also available down here too. Talking of the menu, what's on it?

  • Open charcoal grilled delicacies such as chicken skewers or baby black ribs
  • Sushi and sashimi
  • Roka dishes
  • Snacks salads and soups
  • Desserts

Roka is perfect for a celebratory night out or cosy lunch and is open seven days a week.

  • Roka
  • T: 020 7580 6464
  • 37 Charlotte Street
  • London W1T 1RR

Kirazu

Kirazu

Simplicity is the word that comes to mind when describing the decor of this recently opened Japanese restaurant, while the description stops there as when it comes to the food the only word to use is awesome! Plain white walls and wooden benches may be the theme of the decor here but the food is on another level altogether offering delicious mouth-watering fare diners will want to experience again and again.

Yuya Kikuchi is the chef cum owner of Kirazu and he takes his cooking very seriously offering dishes such as his unique Japanese Tapas along with dishes like sea bass, roasted duck and sautéed lotus roots, while the restaurant also offers a great drinks list.  Kikuchi loves to cook homely dishes with that added touch of flair that makes his food simply delicious! Kirazu also cater for parties and events and offer a takeaway menu too, while all their dishes sit at the heart of healthy eating for all.

  • Kirazu
  • T: 020 7494 2248
  • 47 Rupert Street
  • London
  • W1D 7PD

UMU Restaurant

UMU

UMU take Japanese fine dining to another level and serve their delicious cuisine in tranquil surroundings that are both tasteful and a real dining experience. UMU is the only Japanese restaurant in the UK to serve a Kyoto influenced menu, while all their staff is trained to a very high standard in all aspects of the culture, etiquette and philosophy of Japanese cuisine. Located in Mayfair UMU oozes class and sophistication by the bucket load, while prices here are surprisingly reasonable taking into account the area of London the restaurant is sited in.  

UMU's head chef is Yoshinori Ishii an experienced chef of high standing who was awarded the Rising Star Award for Culinary Arts. UMU offer a superb range of menus serving delicious dishes such as Yakimono which is a charcoal grilled game, sushi and sashimi dishes, healthy vegetable dishes and fine desserts.

Private dining is also offered here where guests may book a private area to seat up to twelve people, while amazing events are a highlight of UMU offering people the chance to attend cookery courses or attend a demonstration of cookery by Ishii himself.  Details of how to book online can be found at the website.

  • UMU Restaurant
  • T: 020 7499 8881
  • 14-16 Bruton Place
  • Mayfair
  • London
  • W1J 6LX